Taxpayer cost of Obama vacation swells to $7 million
While the drama in Congress was playing out this past week, Air Force One sat idling on the tarmac at Andrews Air Force Base waiting to whisk President Obama back to Hawaii to resume his Christmas vacation.
The world’s only superpower’s lack of fiscal responsibility is depressing the economy of almost every other nation; yet while the can has once again been kicked down the road President Obama is enjoying the beaches of Hawaii, at an exclusive resort far beyond the means of his favored middle-class. Though the president is paying the cost of his family’s accommodations, this is but a tiny part of the costs that are being paid by the taxpayers.
We know that Hawaii vacation part one cost about $4 million; now we’re finding that the complete cost will top a staggering $7 million, according to veteran White House reporter Keith Koffler.
If you can’t find the humor in President Obama agreeing Tuesday night to an emergency deficit reduction bill that does nothing to cut spending, then jetting back out to Hawaii to resume his vacation at an additional cost of more than $3 million to taxpayers, you’re just not paying attention.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have your own private jet, at an operational cost of more than $180,000 per hour, just waiting to take you more than 6,000 miles and 9 hours, two more times?
Although the White House keeps the costs of presidential vacations under-wraps, Koffler has done the math:
The U.S. Air Force states that it costs about $180,000 an hour to fly Air Force One; with an estimated 18 hours roundtrip flying time between Washington and Honolulu, the travel cost alone of Obama’s decision to return to Hawaii amounts to $3.24 million. Flight time doesn’t include the cost of security operations which requires the immense cost of a second “cargo plane” that follows Air Force One when the president flies.
Koffler notes that President Obama could have saved the taxpayers a good chunk of money by simply having the family return with him from Hawaii. The Obamas could’ve resumed heir vacation at Camp David, which is where the last five presidents spent most of their vacation time. Why does Mr. Obama feel the taxpayers should pick up a Hawaii vacation? The answer is simple: I won, I’m right; you’re wrong.
If you’re not convinced that the president’s Hawaii vacations are a little excessive, consider this: the total cost to taxpayers of Obama’s vacations in Hawaii since becoming president is in excess of $20 million.
The elitist message sent by the president is one of sheer contempt for the American taxpayer. While $7 million may be viewed by the White House as a drop in the bucket compared to the overall size of America’s federal debt it’s the principle that counts.
Do you really need a Hawaiian vacation that the majority of Americans couldn’t afford while 12.2 million Americans are still out of work?
For the struggling middle-class, who, unlike the president have already returned to work, this type of conspicuous consumption is simply unimaginable in the current economic climate. Taxpayers have just been hit hard with a significant increase in their payroll taxes due to the expiration of the Social Security tax break. According to the Tax Policy Center, 77 percent of US households will now be paying more in federal taxes following this week’s fiscal cliff deal.
President Obama calls on Americans to make sacrifices while he simply cannot lead by example. In a speech in Virginia in April 2011 Obama said, “We are going to have to ask everybody to sacrifice. And if we’re asking community colleges to sacrifice, if we’re asking people who are going to see potentially fewer services in their neighborhoods to make a little sacrifice, then we can ask millionaires and billionaires to make a little sacrifice.”
Excuse me Mr. President, you are one of those millionaires. Every other millionaire in the country, besides getting a nice bump in their taxes, would’ve paid for their own lavish vacation. Show us you’re willing to sacrifice as well President Obama and pay back the treasury for the cost of your Hawaiian vacation.
When pigs fly.
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